Does the Surgeon General Need to Be a Scrawny Supermodel?
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Did anyone ever suggest that C. Everett Koop was too portly to be Surgeon General?
Obama's nominee for Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin, is a distinguished physician and a noted humanitarian. But she's not skinny. Random people on the internet who have never met her guess that she's a size 18.
It's hard to imagine a more qualified Surgeon General. She has been honored with a MacArthur "Genius" grant, a Nelson Mandela Award, a Kellogg Fellowship and a Rockefeller Next Generation Leader Award. She's an expert on hot topics like rural health and telemedicine.
Benjamin was the first black woman and the first person under 40 to lead the American Medical Association. She earned an MBA on the side. She treated destitute evacuees after Hurricane Katrina and founded her own rural health clinic that serves as a model for similar facilities nationwide. She did missionary work in Honduras. She's active in the United Way, the Girl Guides the Mobile Chamber of Commerce, and other community groups. She's served select committees and blue ribbon commissions too numerous to name. In her spare time, she enjoys adventure tourism.
Healthy is as healthy does. Dr. Benjamin obviously has a lot of energy. If she's unhealthy, I want to know her secret.
But sanctimonious twerps in the news say it would "send the wrong message" to have a Surgeon General who looks like Benjamin (read: female, black, and curvy). That's really all they're going on. Benjamin's critics have no idea whether she's healthy or what her lifestyle is like.